WWE officials breathed a huge sigh of relief on Monday when John Cena escaped a Monday car accident without a scratch. However, it didn’t take long for fans on social media to begin pontificating who could step in and oppose The Rock at WrestleMania 28 if Cena was suddenly unavailable.
The WWE has been real lucky over the last 28 years of keeping their WrestleMania main-events intact. Nobody has gotten hurt or been put into a position to miss their scheduled WrestleMania main-event within the final month of promotion. But what if that happened today and how would the WWE remedy it with less than two weeks and only two RAW broadcasts to go?
So let’s put on our fantasy booker hats for a second here and look at the big picture. The WWE is less than two weeks away from its biggest WrestleMania in maybe eight years. They have just lost one half of a main-event that is the draw of the show. The Rock is still locked in and ready to go. Now you need to find a realistic opponent who will create the most interest, thus generate the most business in a match with The Rock taking place in 13 days. In other words, it is time to come up with Plan B!
The Rock vs. Steve Austin – I know I said realistic but Austin hasn’t completely ruled out returning to the wrestling ring like Shawn Michaels or is physically unable to do so like Bret Hart. Heck, the man had no problem getting in the ring and working out during Tough Enough with Luke Robinson. If it were me, the first call I’d make from the WWE Bat Phone would be to the Double Cross Ranch. Do we really need to see Austin vs. Rock again? No, but I can’t think of two guys who could create enough interest in a match within 13 days to do comparable and maybe even better business than the originally scheduled headliner.
The Rock vs. Randy Orton – This one is a stretch I know but I am looking at the bigger picture here. As you can see with my next choices, the next alternatives would be CM Punk and Chris Jericho. Unfortunately to do that, you have to take away a match that is shaping up to be a great supporting act to the main-event. With Randy Orton, you are taking away a match (vs. Kane) that is very minimal to the entire event. Orton is not exactly at his hottest point but he is still arguably the second biggest draw in the company. I think this one would be D.O.A. if it had the one year build that Cena vs. Rock has had, but in 13 days I have to think that these guys could pull off some good stuff and have a hell of a match in Miami.
The Rock vs. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE championship in a Triple Threat Match – In order to make up for the substitute main-event, why not give the fans something extra, meaning a title shot for The Rock? It would be an odd match to make after investing so much emotional interest in Punk vs. Jericho but I can’t see anyone getting upset over this than the hardcore Jericho and Punk fans excited about their feud. I certainly don’t think it would come anywhere close to drawing the same kind of numbers that Rock vs. Cena would (same for Orton), but you could drum some interest up with The Rock challenging for the championship while keeping your Jericho vs. Punk match in the process.
The Rock vs. Dolph Ziggler – As much as I love watching Ziggler, I won’t kid myself into thinking that this one is going to draw a whole lot of money. However, why not take this opportunity to elevate the most deserving undercard guy on the roster with the open spot in the main-event? In the ring, I think these guys could put on a great match. It wouldn’t have the same emotional interest that Cena vs. Rock would have, yet maybe fans in Miami are more forgiving after seeing a better match in the slot? It certainly wouldn’t be hard to put together. All you need is Vickie Guerrero coming to the ring to confront The Rock, Ziggler attacking, and boom there is your main-event. No different than the set up for about 90% of the WWE pay per view main-events quite frankly.